Emilio Aguinaldo (1869-1964). Aguinaldo was born near Cavite, Luzon, which is south of Manila. In 1896, he led the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers, and was the Philippines' first president.
Aguinaldo's long and colorful life is littered with controversy. Hailed as the person who successfully led revolution against Spain, he also ordered the death of Andres Bonifacio founder of the Katipunan, the organization that began the revolution.
Despite the success of his war efforts, Aguinaldo also capitulated to the Spaniards, when he signed an agreement called the Pact of Biak na Bato, where he agreed to leave the Philippines in exile, in exchange for money and a promise of sweeping reforms. However, while in exile in Hong Kong and Singapore, he also helped the Americans in the Spanish American War.
On June 12, 1898, the Philippines declared independence, and Emilio Aguinaldo was elected president. The United States, however, refused to recognize Philippine independence, the Philippines having been ceded to the United States by Spain, after winning the Spanish American war.
On February 4, 1899, the Philippine American war began. The Filipinos, while fighting bravely, were no match for the American troops, and on March 23, 1901, Emilio Aguinaldo was captured. Aguinaldo later took an oath of allegiance to the United States.
When the Philippine Commonwealth was established in 1935, Aguinaldo ran for president, but lost. And during World War II, the Japanese used Aguinaldo in their propaganda against Americans. Aguinaldo was forced to make speeches and sign anti-american documents. After the war, the Americans jailed Aguinaldo on suspicion that he was a Japanese collaborator, but was later released under a presidential pardon. Aguinaldo died in 1964, at the ripe old age of 95.